Whether you are looking for something fun to do at home, or you are planning your holiday gifts, now is a perfect time to get crafty! A handmade gift shows you care and lets the recipient enjoy a unique creation that has your personal stamp on it.
Boomer has some craft ideas to share, and you can find ideas and tutorials online, too. You might have materials already at home and you can repurpose some items from the recycle bin.
Cardboard animals are fun to make and decorate! You could make some farmyard animals for a young relative or friend, or make a forest or desert scene or a nativity as a gift.
Start with a sketch of the silhouette, or side profile, of the animal you want to make. Draw the animal’s head, body and tail. You can draw on a piece of paper to cut out and use as a template, or you can make an outline directly on your cardboard. To make the cross pieces that make your animal stand up, cut some upside down U-shapes, or make a semicircle for a sitting animal, or one that doesn't have four or more legs. You can also make cross pieces for certain features that will make your animal more 3D, like ears or antlers.
Younger kids and those working with thick cardboard should ask for help when cutting out your animal. If you don’t have packing boxes to cut, you can use thinner boxes and paperboard—like cereal and other food boxes. Paperboard boxes may be more available to you and—bonus—they are easier to cut. To make thinner cardboard shapes more sturdy, double it by cutting mirror images.
If you want to make your animals more colorful, you can paint them or use marker or even crayons. You can also glue on construction paper or fabric. When the animal looks the way you want to, it’s time to cut the slots that will join the body and legs together. For thicker cardboard, cut your lines more that one time or even cut a little V-shapes so that the pieces will fit together.
You might have small plastic food or condiment containers around. What can you do with them? They may be too small to be recycled, but you can REPURPOSE them! They can make cute ornaments or mini photo frames.
Make sure to clean out the container thoroughly. Then get some string, yarn or ribbon to make the hanger and even to glue on as decoration. Measure the space in back of the container, and cut out a small drawing, some patterned paper or a photo to glue or tape in the back. Bling it out with some stick-on jewels, or glue on some beads, ribbon or fabric. You can make a set of complementary ornaments, or make each one unique!
Time for Tutorials
When you are trying to learn a new skill, like knitting or crocheting, you can find lots of tutorials online. A video tutorial can be really handy because you can stop it and go back when you miss a step, and you can pause if the instructions are going too fast. When learning a new skill, start small and have patience! A good yarn project that makes a great gift is a scarf.
Remember: The more time and practice you put into your crafting, the better you will get at it.
Don’t worry if your finished item doesn’t look like an example picture (here or elsewhere). The differences are what make your creation special and show that it is hand made!